Saturday, February 09, 2008
Two foods I long ago fell in love with - irrevocably- are pesto and hummus. I play around a lot with each, and usually just a slight tweak of ingredients throws up new and delightful flavors.
And then there is edamame. The crunchy soybean is so delicious, so versatile and so pretty, I am always trying to find new ways to cook it.
Now I am a big fan of edamame hummus, and it is something I whip up almost weekly in my kitchen. The decadent, creamy taste makes it easy to forget that this snack is actually really good for you.
This week I was craving edamame hummus, but I only had time to make a simple pasta dinner that I could also pack in my and Desi's lunchboxes the next day. I also knew I had a limited number of veggies on hand: half a bunch of watercress being among them.
Then it hit me - edamame pesto!
It couldn't have been easier to make, with just a few tweaks to the hummus recipe, and the result was beyond delicious. The grooves in the penne soak up the creaminess of the tofu and the sunny flavor of cumin, olive oil and capers. I also mix in crunchy walnuts at the very end to give this dish even more complexity, nutrition and flavor.
Penne Rigate with Creamy Edamame Pesto
1 cup edamame (shelled), microwaved for a couple of minutes with a few tablespoons of water until just tender.
1/2 cup watercress leaves, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup silken soft tofu
2 tsp cumin seeds, powdered
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped coarsely
1 13.5-oz box of Penne Rigate Pasta (I used whole-wheat, although this would work as well with regular pasta)
Salt the pasta water and cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.
To a food processor, add the edamame, tofu, garlic, watercress, cumin powder and red pepper flakes. Add salt to taste.
With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto comes together in a smooth, creamy sauce with a lovely pale green color.
Remove the cooked pasta to a bowl and add the pesto sauce, capers and walnuts.
Toss to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
You can also add some pre-roasted veggies like bell peppers and zucchini or even some sliced avocados for a delicious and healthy meal in minutes!